Today in Islamophobia

A daily list of headlines about Islamophobia
compiled by the Bridge Initiative

Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This resource will be updated every weekday at approximately 11:00 AM EST.

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29 May 2019

Today in IslamophobiaMuslim Council demands Tory Islamophobia inquiry, and Arundhati calls Indian elections a “mockery of what democracy is supposed to be.” Myanmar frees soldiers jailed for Rohingya massacre, and issues arrest warrant for Ashin Wirathu for incendiary comments against Aung San Suu Kyi. Our recommended read of the day is by Sumit Ganguly on Modi’s pursuit of Hindu nationalism, and what it means for the country at large. This, and more, below:


29 May 2019

Opinion | India’s Prime Minister Modi pursues politics of Hindu nationalism – what does that mean? | Recommended Read

Modi and the political party he represents are adherents of Hindutva. What exactly is Hindutva and how is it different from the beliefs and practices of Hinduism? Hindutva is an ideology that states that India is the homeland of the Hindus. According to believers, those who profess other faiths can live in the country only at the sufferance of Hindus. As a scholar of contemporary Indian politics, I find this proposition to be profoundly disturbing and deeply antithetical to the central tenets of Hinduism. The roots of this ideology can, in considerable part, be traced to the growth of Hindu anxieties in colonial India. In 1906, a Muslim political party – the All-India Muslim League – was created. Later, a charismatic politician, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, became its standard-bearer and subsequently the first governor-general of the state of Pakistan following the British partition of India in 1947. Partition led to the division of the former British India into the two independent states of India and Pakistan. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
29 May 2019

Here's A List Of All The Hate Crimes Against Muslims, Dalits Since Modi Won

At least six incidents of violence against people from marginalised communities have been reported from across the country. Man Shot At In Begusarai Because Of His Muslim Name, Asked To Go To Pakistan: According to reports, a man named Mohd. Qasim, a hawker, was shot at in Begusarai district on Sunday morning after being asked his name. A video of Qasim describing the incident has gone viral. Qasim says that a man called Rajiv Yadav shot at him and told him “you should go to Pakistan.” read the complete article

29 May 2019

Arundhati Roy on India’s Elections: “A Mockery of What Democracy Is Supposed to Be”

As Roy puts it, the “world’s largest democracy”—a proud national epithet Roy places within scare quotes—exists in several centuries at once, caught between tradition, the caste system, and the chaos of turbo-charged capitalism. Modi embodies these contradictions more than most: a figure at once authentic and aspirational, promising both the glorious resurrection of Hindustan and neoliberal reforms; the mythical child chaiwala who now wears $16,000 suits. Modi was not named in Roy’s long-awaited second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, published in 2017. But his vision of a Hindu nation haunted the book. “Perhaps I shouldn’t say this,” she has said, “but if a novel can have an enemy, then the enemy of this novel is the idea of ‘one nation, one religion, one language,’” which is the slogan of Modi’s Hindutva ideology. read the complete article

What does Modi's return to power mean for India's Muslims?

Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide win on the back of a divisive campaign that ostensibly targeted Muslims. The BJP does not have a single Muslim Member of Parliament among its 303 lawmakers. The rise of the BJP has been marked by the electoral marginalisation of Muslims, with their representation in democratic institutions gradually falling down. The Indian prime minister said that the opposition parties "deceived minorities" by not addressing their basic needs such as healthcare and education. read the complete article

United States

29 May 2019

Congressman with history of Islamophobia says he took pictures with dead combatants as a Marine

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who ran a 2018 reelection campaign rooted in Islamophobia, said Saturday that he had posed for pictures with dead combatants during his time as a Marine in the Middle East. Hunter was defending Navy SEAL chief Eddie Gallagher, one of several servicemen charged with war crimes who may soon receive a pardon from President Donald Trump. Gallagher is currently awaiting trial for numerous acts allegedly committed during his time in Iraq, including firing a machine gun haphazardly into residential neighborhoods and killing a young girl and an old man with targeted sniper fire. Gallagher also allegedly stabbed a wounded teenage ISIS fighter who had been taken prisoner, and shared photos of himself holding the dead boy’s head later, boasting that he “got him with my hunting knife.” read the complete article

29 May 2019

Mayoral candidate Carol Swain visits mosque, expresses 'regret' for anti-Muslim rhetoric

Swain, a retired Vanderbilt professor, visited the Islamic Center of Tennessee over the weekend in a move to repair relations nearly four years after her Tennessean op-ed — largely viewed as hate speech for its critique of Islam — was published. The staunch conservative is challenging Mayor David Briley in the Aug. 1 election, along with state Rep. John Ray Clemmons and At-large Metro Councilman John Cooper. "I expressed regret that it seemed to blame all Muslims," Swain posted on social media on Monday, along with a photo of her wearing a head covering. "As mayor, I intend to represent all Nashvillians and that starts with having an open and honest conversation in hopes of obtaining a deeper understanding." Swain said she visited for several hours and was "welcomed and treated with courtesy and respect." Her visit came during the holy month of Ramadan. The 30 days of prayer and fasting ends next week. read the complete article

United Kingdom

29 May 2019

Muslim Council demands Tory Islamophobia inquiry

In a letter to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, the MCB said a problem "runs deep into the party". It added there was "sufficient evidence" to suggest the party may have breached anti-discrimination law. The MCB accused the party of not taking action against Islamophobia shown by Tory MPs, and tolerating discrimination towards party members. read the complete article


29 May 2019

Myanmar frees soldiers jailed for Rohingya massacre

Four officers and three soldiers were sentenced in 2018 to 10 years with hard labour for killing 10 Rohingya villagers. At the time, army chief Min Aung Hlaing and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi held up the sentence as evidence of accountability within the military. Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who helped expose the killing, were jailed last September for seven years on charges linked to their reporting. read the complete article

Myanmar police hunt 'Buddhist bin Laden' over Suu Kyi comments

Myanmar police have issued an arrest warrant for Ashin Wirathu, a firebrand monk known as the “Buddist Bin Laden”, over alleged incendiary remarks about Aung San Suu Kyi. Wirathu has long been accused of inciting sectarian violence against Myanmar’s Muslims, in particular the Rohingya community, through hate-filled, Islamaphobic speeches. The monk, who is at the forefront of Myanmar’s radical nationalist movement, supported the military crackdown on the Rohingya in August 2017 in Rahkine state. The UN has since defined the military violence as ethnic cleansing which was carried out with “genocidal intent”. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 29 May 2019 Edition


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